Book 1 in the Demonica series, in which a team of paranormal beings and humans guard the world from the forces of darkness.
Matteo, a human agent, is surprised to be partnered with the newest arrival -- the demon Vilmos, who prefers to work alone. When Vilmos upsets Matteo, he incurs the wrath of Priel and Ull, the team's powerful angel and demon pairing.
Priel and Ull consummate their love and Vilmos comes to care for Matteo, but no one realises dark and deadly forces are at work. Nor that Matteo is the key to the culmination of a long-planned revenge.
When the powerful Ciaran unleashes his attack, angel, demon, and human must risk all to fight him, and Vilmos needs to find a way to save a mortally wounded Matteo.
“You sure it’s nothing serious?” Ull watched Matteo leave before asking the question.
“Pretty much.” Priel nodded. “I didn’t feel anything malevolent when I touched him. He’s right, too, Ull. It wasn’t your fault.”
“He was in my care. I left him. He got shot.”
“You were lured away on purpose, so that Ciaran could attack Matteo. You couldn’t have known any more than Matteo did. We should be grateful Ciaran didn’t opt to remove you permanently. He is a strong and ruthless adversary, Ull.”
“I still blame me.” Ull’s head and shoulders drooped and even his tail ceased its almost perpetual motion.
“Then it’s time you stopped. You don’t want Matty feeling worse do you?” Priel folded his arms as he met Ull’s stare. “Yes, I’m being unfair, but I don’t want you morose, which, in turn, will make Matteo focus on that scar again.”
“For an angel, you sure fight dirty, Prissy.” Ull growled the words, but his tail swished back and forth once more.
“You must be rubbing off on me.” Priel grinned. “If you’re back to using that nickname, I must have made a good impression on you.”
Opening his mouth to speak, Priel closed it again unable to think of a retort that fit before Matteo returned, wearing a dark pink, brushed-cotton, open-necked shirt.
Having almost been caught out by the angel, Ull was more than relieved to see his young human friend, especially looking much happier. “Way better.” Ull enthused over the shirt. “Let’s hit the road. Bags, I drive.”
When Ull bounced out of the garage elevator, onto one of the thick cement columns then into a red convertible sports car, neither Priel nor Matteo showed any surprise. Ull landed effortlessly in the driver’s seat and looked back at them with a wide grin.
He loved to drive and felt like a kid let loose in a candy store. He saw Matteo laugh softly and expected an acerbic comment from Priel, but the angel had an affectionate smile and simply looked at him, shook his head, and sighed.
“Demon? Big kid more likes. I’ll ride in the back. Make sure Ull sits on his tail.” Priel pointed at the appendage as he donned large sunglasses before settling in the back of the car.
“Ready, Matty?” Ull asked as Matteo buckled himself into the passenger seat and returned Ull’s infectious grin.
“Sure. Priel says to sit on your tail.”
“Spoilsport,” Ull grumbled good-naturedly. However, teasing the angel with his tail when driving the powerful car, and especially when he had a human passenger, was not a smart move. Wriggling a little, he complied with the order. With a whoop of glee, he gunned the engine and pulled away in a screech of protesting tyres.
Glancing into the rear-view mirror, Ull saw Priel sitting back, wearing his large sunglasses, with his arms stretched out on the back of the car seat. He looked as if he was a glamorous movie star. With a wordless growl, Ull focused on the road ahead, giving all his attention to his driving.
The journey through the late afternoon traffic took little time to complete. Ull parked in the lot attached to the Bar and the three men strolled towards to entrance. Matteo entered first and greeted the large demon who guarded the doorway, receiving a wave of two of the demon’s four arms in return. He headed toward his grandfather’s favourite table.
Still in the doorway, an affectionate smile curving his lips, Ull watched Matteo walk to the table next to a tree and a small, freestanding fountain. He knew Matteo loved loved that particular table as much as his grandfather did. Although the Bar served alcohol, the bar’s staff, a mix of human and demonic, would only sell one alcoholic drink per person and the doorman knew if anyone had been drinking as soon as they entered.
This place, like several others of its kind, was one of rest and harmony, where one could go and soak up the positive atmosphere and re-charge their internal battery. Ull breezed in after Matteo but ground to a halt when he realised Priel was not right behind him.
Glancing back, Ull felt a thrill of irritation that the doorman was favouring the angel with a wide, easy grin and, worse still, Priel was smiling back. Retracing his steps, Ull simply insinuated his body between the two bigger males, flashing a snarl, rather than smile, at the doorman.
He was peripherally aware of the angel calmly strolling inside as if it had been his intention to aggravate Ull. His mood was not helped by the bigger demon leaning down until millimetres from his face.
“You got it bad, little man, shame he don’t even notice you.”